By Kate Gill
The popular gamer chat app Discord will begin selling games in an online storefront dedicated to indie titles curated by the company's developers, said the CEO Jason Citron.
Discord ー a communication hub for 150 million gamers ー added a marketplace Thursday called Discord Nitro. And now, a beta group of users can buy new releases for PC.
"We have a lot of people here that love playing games and have really great taste, and so we're gonna pick out stuff we think is worth your time and kind of curate it," Citron said Thursday in an interview on Cheddar. "Much like if you go into a local bookstore and you see those note cards highlighting which books you should check out that you've never heard of before."
Discord opened its online store to 50,000 "lucky Canadians" Thursday. Citron said he plans to launch the full marketplace to a wider audience later this year.
For $5 a month, gamers can access an "all-you-can-eat buffet" of games selected by Discord's discerning staff, and eventually, play exclusive "First on Discord" titles for a limited time.
"I used to be a game developer myself, and I know what it's like to pour your heart into making something and then having a hard time getting it in front of people that would love it," Citron said.
The store won't feature mega hits like Fortnite, which has found a wide audience and earned more than $1 billion this year ー as much as $1 million a day from in-app purchases. Instead, Discord's virtual boutique will be an indie outpost in the $138 billion gaming industry marketplace.
"We're all about bringing people together around games, so we're taking that approach to the storefront," Citron said.
Like Discord, which Citron built with other gamers, for fellow gamers, the new online store is designed with the same sensibility.
"We just solve problems that gamers had in a way they loved. And we're authentic," Citron said. "We built it for ourselves."
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